The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has demanded that YouTuber Trevor Jacob surrender his pilot’s license after he posted a video called “I Crashed My Plane” of a crash the agency suggests was staged. , as reported by The New York Times. In the video (which you can look here), Jacob’s plane appears to have an engine malfunction, and he jumps out of it while using a parachute. In a letter, the regulator told Jacob that he “demonstrated a lack of care, judgment and responsibility in choosing to jump out of an aircraft” and said that Jacob “operated this flight to deliberately cause [the plane] crash.”
Jacob posted the video in December and it already has more than 1.7 million views. like several members of the flying community, the FAA expressed doubts about Jacob’s choices during the incident. The letter disagrees with the fact that he did not attempt to restart the engine properly, contact air traffic control for assistance, or seek an alternate landing location even though many options were available. Basically, the agency says, he doesn’t try to save the plane before jumping out of it.
The regulator also appears to question whether the engine failure was genuine, noting that Jacob appeared to open the door before the propeller began to slow in the video. What Flying magazine notesJacob does not usually wear a parachute while flying, despite stating that he does in the “I Crashed My Plane” video. That said, it doesn’t look like the plane was in good shape. jalopnik citation reports that it was in a “state of disrepair and in need of major maintenance” and that Jacob tried to fix it himself. The plane is, or was, an early model from the 1940’s, so it’s definitely possible that it had engine trouble.
Jacob has been practicing extreme sports for a long time, according to his Team USA biography page. (He snowboarded at the 2014 Winter Olympics.) He’s also no stranger to YouTube fame. His channel has a video from 2013 called “Train Horn Prank. Arrested?” with nearly 7 million views. He also has several videos showing him skydiving.
According to the Times, when asked about the FAA letter, which tells him to surrender his pilot’s license or face daily fines of more than $1,000, Jacob seemed surprised. He replied, “Where did you get that information?” and then he reportedly stopped responding to emails.